A change of surroundings

It has been far too long since my last posting, even though there was one written and ready to go last Tuesday on Forgiveness, but I felt it was time for something less serious, especially now that the holidays have passed and there are only two more months of winter left. There was even a draft about the rough storms California faced for a number of days, as my first exit from the house in just as many days for a medical appointment, had allowed for a photo to be captured. It showed how one of our reservoirs, Briones, had managed to raise its water level after a three-year drought.

Briones Reservoir
Contra Costa County, California, January 22, 2010

As the previous weekend passed, it was time to take my daughter back to Santa Cruz. I was looking forward to our company and the trip back home along the coast on Cabrillo Highway. The weather looked good all morning but after dropping off Ariana, it took less than an hour for raindrops to appear, signaling what was about to come. Undaunted, I continued to my two favorite places, especially one, a little hideaway. Just above Aña Nuevo State Park, lies the Aña Nuevo Whitehouse Creek trail, whose entrance is nestled between groupings of large eucalyptus trees easily missed from the road unless one is looking for it.

A little into the trail, it splits in two different directions, one north into the open area and the other west, towards the coast where another split in the trail would lead one down to the shore or along the ridge. My aim was to head down towards to a little cove, which when entered made one feel like the pages of an adventure book I read as a boy about pirates and smugglers came to life.

Now the rains became heavier, they had brought on also stronger winds, causing the surf to plunge deeper into the coast, almost reversing the flow of the stream that I no longer was able to cross in order to enter the cove and reach the beach. Never the less, I was able to retrieve from along the stream a few pebbles for wrapping. Once back in the car, it was off to Bean Hollow.

Bean Hallow
Bean Hallow, San Mateo County, January 25, 2010

By the time I arrived at Bean Hollow the rain stopped but the winds had increased significantly to cause the waves to cress between fifteen to twenty feet with an additional five-six feet of ocean spray on top. At first I was the only person, but soon several more die-hards arrived to observe the oceans display of aggression as it seas swells forcible trusted itself against the few outcropping of steadfast rocks that rose above the waterline for a spectacular show. Almost one hour later, I felt as if I was frozen to the bone, signaling that it was time to go home.

Bean Hallow beach
Bean Hallow, San Mateo County, January 25, 2010

The next day I managed another escape from the walls that have been confining me these past weeks with a return for another medical visit in Berkeley and since the day lighting was better than before, I was able to document a number of telephone poles. One of my long term projects I have been working on these last four years, with an earlier posting to The Artist Within Us and how these telephone poles were turned into an artistic vision, a new direction that my paintings since have taken. I promise to share more of these in upcoming posts so that you can see what it is that that has me so fascinated with these mundane totems lining the streets at regular intervals.

Amidst the grey a dash of colour
 Berkeley, California, January 26, 2010

The next several days were spent like most of this year at building The DIRECTORY, my third blog. It is a collection of resources for artists and a list of the blogs I follow. There is still far more work ahead, but do have a look when you have a moment.

The brief outing along the coast lifted my spirits considerable; it has offered much needed rejuvenation and has permitted my focus to see challenges in another view. Circumstances have not changed, but a little strength has been mustered that will permit me to go on, for it appears winters brooding finds itself waning as spring approaches and days begin to be longer.

I wish to leave you know with a thought and your next excuse for when your spouse cannot understand the mess you are making, just tell them

Kreative Menschen machen keine Unordnung,
es sind alles Ideen, die da rumliegen!

Creative people make no messes,
they are just ideas lying around!

They still might not understand, but at least you won’t have to stand there in silence and have that blank but questionable look about you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Egmont, It has been such a long time since your last posting that I was, as you may imagine, delighted to receive this. It is quite hard, dividing my time between London and Budapest, to appreciate how long your winters are.

This posting, beautifully presented as always, gave me a fascinating insight into a country and landscape which, very sadly, it is unlikely I shall be able to visit. Your commentary gives additional clarity and impact to your pictures and leaves one wishing for more.

You mention a posting which you have drafted on the subject of 'Forgiveness'; this sounds most interesting and I very much hope that you will see your way to publishing it at some point.

La Dolce Vita said...

My dear Egmont,

How I love this post, and makes me miss California.
so nice that you will only have 2 more months of winter, which for us officially ends on Mothers Day.
You must post the splendid beauty of your spring so that I can live vicariously!
Your photos are magnificent and I was giggling over the translation, as yes I know that puzzled look from others over my creative space, so different from the order in my house!
many blessings,

Protege said...

Beautiful images from equally beautiful natural scenes. I can only imagine what experiencing these in reality must have felt like.
I love the German proverb and I can testify that to be truth. Or my desk can.;)

Maggie Neale said...

Dear Egmont, always a pleasure to visit you through your posts. Loved the coast ramble in words and images. My last time there was a trip with my 2 sons, maybe only 2 holidays ago but seems longer. Memories were stirred. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself.
Sometimes the mess is because other ideas have interrupted me and taken me away---mess = process for me.

iNdi@ said...

thanks for that lovely reminder of California's magic...

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I love this post.
It really pulled on my emotions.
Beautifully written!
Have a great day!
Betty :)

rivergardenstudio said...

Your words and photographs here are enchanting. I love the walk down to the smugglers cove, the wild waves and the dark skies. What a magical day you have shared. And the telephone art too. thank you for bringing the coast back to me. I miss it too. roxanne

Susan Deborah said...


Lovely post and lovelier pictures to go with the post. You day would have been beautiful with such picturesque locations.

Take care.

Joy always,

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Egmont, What beautiful scenes you've introduced us to. I love the sea when the wind is up. There's nothing like the spray and swirl of a powerful ocean. Thanks for taking me there.

ifos said...

Thanks Egmont for this insight into you photographic adventures, the images are stunning. Thank you also for your translation from the German, I will keep this up my sleeve ready to fire off at SWMBO. Ian

Teri said...

Egmont--I remember being able to walk all over the sandy beach at Ano Nuevo when I was in my 20's. Now, they have "guides" that take you down to see the Sea Lions. Things certainly do change. I need to get to Santa Cruz one of these days myself. I used to go there quite often when I lived in the Bay Area. Not so much any more. I still have relatives and friends there though. Love the telephone poles with all their "messages". I think about that kind of art too. Have often taken photos of the public message board at Pt. Reyes. It is usually filled with art, both intentional and not. Hope the dr. appointments went well. I have one tomorrow. Never enjoy that inconvenience but I guess it is part of getting older.

Ange said...

Haha dear Egmont, what an exhilarating post. I miss the ocean, having spent all my youth up to my mid 20s by the sea. Now it's become a holiday activity, something I still can't get my head around after 15 years.
Love your telephone poles. The pages never last long enough here to have such an effect.

May you have many ideas lying around to work on ;-)

sophie munns said...

Dear Egmont,
I had a good laugh at the text you translated for us at the end of this wonderful post!
I'm ready to read a whole book of your posts like this one...The flow of thoughts interspersed with your own images is very compelling and would speak to a far broader audience than you presently have... even though your present audience is not small by any means.
Now this idea of mine is probably the last thing from your mind...so at least I hope its a compliment!
And if anyone out there also thinks similarly to myself maybe they know a publisher.
Please dont think I make light of your experiences Egmont.
Its just that I think you have a singularly unique offering to life - most worthy of being shared!

Laura Hegfield said...

Egmont I'm so happy you were able to get out and that you enjoyed the scenery! I know well the way walls can feel overwhelming and oppressive. Your photographs are beautiful...I've not seen the ocean in many months...so thank you for bringing it to me through your pictures!

layers said...

I can sit and stare at the ocean waves for a long time-- there is something calming about the recurring waves-- over and over and over-- meditative-- and when the elements are active-- wind, rain, high waves-- there is exhilaration as well

Aion said...

Egmont.. thank you so much for visiting my blog as well as the kind words and thoughts in behalf of our dear friend Betty.. your blog is Amazing! It's always such a treat for me to find a blogger with such talent!

I will have to revist you when I can spend a few hours "perusing" your posts/blogs!

Thank you for dropping in on my blog!


LemonyRenee' said...

Dear Egmont ~ Such an enchanting post; I was transported. I have never been to your area of the country, now I feel I have just a bit.

I must send you a photo of a telephone pole in Charleston, SC.

neva gagliano said...

aw, the fresh feel of OXYGENATION, i call it, when i find myself along the coast or UP in the mountains...clears things right up, and regenerates cells and spirits! along with a camera as a companion, that other set of eyes to notice, relaxes the woes, and lets nature do its healing.
spring is in the air, seasons always to celebrate, transformations!
lovely trip ... thanks.

and i'm pondering writing my rock story...glad you asked about that.

Seth said...

Wonderful post on total but what really got me was "Amidst the grey a dash of colour!"

druga szesnascie said...

and how about this quote:
"Order is the pleasure of the reason. Mess is the delight of the imagination."

sondra said...

Dear Egmont,
As always, wonderful stories/words and beautiful, interesting images...thank you for this incredible post. And, thank you for all of your input.
I wish you good health and positive energy.
I look forward to your next post......also, the Directory is a great resource...great work!
Best wishes,

Eva said...

Wonderful post and great photos. I felt like I was right along with you!

Poetic Artist said...

These photos are so beautiful and restful..I am glad you shared.
I hope you can get out more and be filled with inspiration.

Anna said...

Dear Egmont,
Incredibly and beautifully "recorded" landscapes, almost of biblical proportions... Very inspiring!
I am so glad you had these walks and face to face encounters with this beautiful countryside. As for the leftovers of accumulated postings on the poles, these faded signs of others' creativity that fulfilled their raison d'être... l share with you the attraction they are presenting and the inspiration!

magpie said...

i especially love the
telephone pole...
rusting staples,
layers upon layers of
once-urgent information,
elevated to art.

frances said...

What kind of soul takes such beautiful pictures and spends its time sharing?
A Magical one.